When winter draws closer, the temperatures start to drop, and in many parts of the country, it’s possible for snow and ice to collect on the roads. Winter does not only bring cold temperatures but also adds risks for people who need to drive long distances. Heavy-duty trucks can slip on icy roads, which can cause serious life-threatening consequences. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the most crucial preventive maintenance tips that heavy-duty truck drivers should keep in mind to ensure their safety and the efficient performance of these trucks.
Grouped driving is relatively common among truckers, especially when they know each other and are on similar routes. Unfortunately, during the winter months, this could actually pose a hazard. Driving groups in winter months can cause a chain reaction when an accident occurs. When one truck driver loses control over their truck and slips on a wet or iced road, the truck can slide into the other trucks that are part of the pack.
While grouped driving can still be a valid option for truckers during summer, you should aim to avoid it in winter. Prefer to drive alone and try to steer clear of other large vehicles on the road.
The windshield at the front of the truck is critical in terms of protecting you and giving you a clear view of the road ahead. During winter, it may start to hail or snow. Rainstorms are also not uncommon in winter. As the particles collect on your windshield, it can become difficult to see clearly what is in front of the truck. Make sure you have strategies to keep your windshield clean throughout winter.
This includes the use of wipers at the front of the truck. Check the wiper blades regularly to ensure they can effectively remove water and snow from the windshield. It’s also important to keep antifreeze with you, as it can help to remove frost from the windshield in extremely low temperatures.
Speeding is considered a major contributor to fatalities on the road and accidents. Almost 30% of traffic-related fatalities are associated with speeding. When it comes to driving a heavy-duty truck, driving at the correct speed is critical. In the event of losing control over the vehicle, it’s much harder to regain control at a faster speed in a heavy-duty truck.
It’s a good idea to consider driving slower than usual in winter. This might cause a slight delay in the transportation process, but would ultimately help to assure your safety on the road.
Regular inspection of essential functions related to the heavy-duty truck is also very important. This includes the lights on the truck. It’s generally required to turn on your lights when it starts to rain - even during the day. It helps to improve the visibility of oncoming traffic. At night, lights play an even more critical role, as you have to ensure you are able to see the road ahead clearly.
Regularly turn the lights on in order to test them. Once the lights are on, get out of the truck and walk around it. You should inspect every bulb. In addition to testing the regular lighting function of the truck, turn on the brights too, and make sure they work properly. Brights are very helpful when it’s very dark on the road.
Cold temperatures and snow can cause problems with a heavy-duty truck during the winter months. Some of these problems can often be quickly resolved if you have the right tools on hand. This is why you should consider taking a toolbox with you. Pack a large variety of tools in this container to ensure you are prepared for different situations that may arise while you are on the road.
You should check the fuel tank, air system, and fuel lines on a regular basis. Water can leak into these parts of the truck, and with extremely cold temperatures, the water can freeze. Once frozen, the ice can result in blockages within these particular parts of the truck. If you notice a piece of ice in the air system, fuel tank, or fuel lines, then use the appropriate tools to remove them. This can help to provide greater efficiency when driving the heavy-duty truck.
Due to the fact that roads often freeze in cold temperatures while it rains, it’s important to consider the fact that you may drive on slippery surfaces. Iced roads increase the risk of accidents, as your truck can slip. Regularly inspecting your tires is particularly important during the winter months.
Ensure you look at the tread and how much wear can be observed on the tires. If the tires on the heavy-duty truck become too smooth due to long-term usage, it can further increase the risk that your truck may slip while driving on these roads. In the event of a slipping vehicle, it’s often also easier to gain back control over the truck if your tires are in good condition. If some tires on the truck have a tread that seems a bit too smooth, then get it replaced before driving on slippery roads.
Implementing preventive maintenance in heavy-duty trucks can help you drive safely during the winter months. However, finding the right repair center that works with heavy-duty trucks can be challenging when faced with breakdowns or mechanical faults. At JE-CO, we have the facilities, parts, and expertise required to provide repair services for a wide range of heavy-duty truck models. We also specialize in servicing these trucks to keep them in top shape at all times. Reach out to learn what we can do for your heavy-duty truck fleet and to book your service.
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